2008-06-13 / Letters

New Rezoning Possibility Raises Much Dispute

Dear Editor:

The following is a letter sent to Borough President Helen M. Marshall:

As president of the Rockaway Park Homeowners/Residents, Inc., I am writing to state the association's position on the recently submitted Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) application presented last week to representatives of the Borough President's Office by John Young, Queens City Planning Office.

We OPPOSE the R7A zoned areas presented in the application.

Although Community Board 14 approved the ULURP on May 13th, it was only approved with the proviso that a comprehensive environmental impact study by completed relating to the proposed R7A areas. The board included this proviso in order to voice their concerns of how the increase in density would affect our community.

Although we would like to see the ULURP process move forward in the Rockaways, we respectfully request your assistance in modifying the R7A rezoning to reflect a more contextual rezoning. In place of R7A, we believe an R5D zone would better serve our community while satisfying the city's desire for an increase in density. We feel strongly that when developed the R7A zoning changes would be extremely problematic for our community, as well as the surrounding areas. We are a narrow peninsula - once a barrier island. In the last few years, the Rockaways have had a boom in development. Our narrow peninsula can not accommodate another increase in population.

One of the R7A areas is Beach 116 Street, which is our "Main Street." It houses our fire department, library, banks, shopping and is the last stop on both the subway and some bus lines. It intersects with Rockaway Beach Boulevard which has only two lanes. Traffic is a nightmare now, let alone adding hundreds more housing units, thousands more residents and hundreds more automobiles.

We feel that before an educated decision can be made, the city must know all the facts. Therefore, it must be: • A comprehensive environmental

impact study

- To date this has not been preformed

• A traffic study on all main roads

during the seasonal peak times (summer) - The study referenced at the CB 14

meeting was completed at off peak

times • A comprehensive evacuation study

- We have only two toll bridges to quickly exit the peninsula

- Many streets are noted to be in a

flood zone The welfare of thousands of residents will be affected by this R7A rezoning. We appeal to you to hear our cry for less density on this narrow peninsula. It is for the safety of all that we, along with neighboring civic organizations, seek to work with the city to make modifications to its R7A plan. R7A will not work in Rockaway, but R5D can. It can meet the city's wish for increased density, better reflect the voice of the community, and maintain a quality of life for all Rockaway residents.

Before you make any recommendations, I invite you to see first hand how this zoning will negatively impact our community.

FRANCIS STATHIS

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